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Champions for WASH: understanding the nature of leadership in rural sanitation in India

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:11 authored by Vijeta R. Bejjanki
This document discusses the concept of leadership within the WASH sector, particularly within the rural sanitation sector in India, which comprises of the most number of open defecators in the world. Studies have shown a clearly expressed preference for open defecation across India, which continues to be a socially and culturally accepted norm. However, champions and leaders are emerging across villages and districts and states of the country, at various levels and through various means that are challenging these norms and motivating communities towards ODF outcomes. This paper discusses who these leaders are, their role and how their work is shaping the rural sanitation outcomes in the country based on both primary and secondary research. The paper seeks to highlight the critical elements of leadership in rural sanitation linked to participatory planning and collective action leading to behaviour change of the entire community.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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BEJJANKI, V.R., 2016. Champions for WASH: understanding the nature of leadership in rural sanitation in India. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all: Proceedings of the 39th WEDC International Conference, Kumasi, Ghana, 11-15 July 2016, Briefing paper 2501, 5pp.


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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